Federal Engineers Lauded for Engineering Excellence

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Contact Name: 
Stacey A. Ober
Contact Number: 
Thursday, January 15, 2009

Whether it's reducing an agency's environmental footprint; working on construction projects in Afghanistan; working on vital missile defense, infection control, and electron beams; or educating the next generation of engineers, these are just some of the responsibilities of the 10 high-caliber finalists for the Federal Engineer of the Year Award. Presented by the National Society of Professional Engineers and now in its 30th year, this award is the only one of its kind to solely recognize outstanding engineers employed in the federal government. The FEYA winner will be announced during a ceremony on February 19 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Apart from recognizing the nominees, FEYA highlights important workforce issues such as science, technology, engineering, and math education; workforce retirement concerns; and the need to fill the engineering "pipeline." The program also showcases the exciting and often cutting-edge federal jobs available to engineers.

This year's nominees continue to represent the high caliber of engineers employed in the public sector. Of the 91,000 federally employed engineers identified by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 23 were nominated and only one of the 10 finalists will be selected for the award. This year's candidates are

  • Daryl R. Armentrout, Ph.D., P.E., Senior Specialist, Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tenn.;
  • Nathan W. Epling, P.E., Civil Engineer, National Parks Service, Department of the Interior,  Asheville, N.C.;
  • Lt. Cmdr. Darren R. Hale, P.E., Public Works Officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Department of the Navy, Norfolk, Va.;
  • Farhad Memarzadeh, Ph.D., P.E., Director, Division of Technical Resources, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Laurel, Md.;
  • Nancy J. Oliver, P.E., Chief, Military Construction Policy and Analysis, Headquarters Air Force, Office of The Civil Engineer, Programs Division, U.S. Air Force, Woodbridge, Va.;
  • Craig A. Phillips, P.E., Chief Scientist, Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Department of the Navy, King George, Va.;
  • Michael A. Stover, P.E., Design Engineer Consultant, Public Health Service, Indian Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Pinetop, Ariz.;
  • Major Patrick C. Suermann, P.E., National Building Information Model Standard Testing Team Leader, Air Education and Training Command, U.S. Air Force, Gainesville, Fla.;
  • Kirankumar Topudurti, Ph.D., P.E., Deputy Director, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Research and Development Center, U.S. Army, Champaign, Ill.; and
  • Terry O. Woods, Ph.D., E.I.T., Mechanical Engineer, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Berwyn Heights, Md.

A panel of judges established by NSPE's Professional Engineers in Government selects the FEYA winner. Hailing from various federal agencies, departments, and military branches, the nominated engineers are evaluated based on factors such as engineering achievements, education, professional and technical society activities, awards and honors, and civic and humanitarian activities.  
The 2009 award winner will be announced at a ceremony on February 19, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Invited guests include all nominees and their agency heads or commanders; leaders from engineering associations; members of Congress and their staff; members of the judging panel; and local media and journalists. Tickets are $60 per person. For more information about the FEYA program or to order tickets, contact Marcia Prichard at mprichard@nspe.org or visit

Additional Notes: 

The National Society of Professional Engineers is the national society of licensed professional engineers from all disciplines that promotes the ethical and competent practice of engineering, advocates licensure, and enhances the image and well-being of its members. Founded in 1934, NSPE serves more than 45,000 members and the public through 53 state and territorial societies and more than 500 chapters. For more information, please visit www.nspe.org.